Two Kurdish parties quit KRG amid protests

IRBIL- The Gorran (Change) Movement and the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) suspended their participation in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) as protests in the region entered the second day.

The Gorran also decided to pull out its representative at the presidency of the region’s parliament Dr. Yousif Mohammed Sadiq, according to a joint statement by both parties on Wednesday.

The two parties said they took part in the KRG out of keenness on improving the political and economic conditions in the region, but this aim proved to be unattainable so far.

The Gorran is represented in the KRG by four ministers (of finance, commerce, Peshmerga, and the Awqaf and Islamic affairs) while the KIU has two ministers (of agriculture and environment).

Stating solidarity with the popular protests, the two parties called on protesters to remain peaceful and refrain from attacks on public or private property.

On his part, Iraqi Prime Minister Fuad Ma’soum called on the Kurdish protester to exercise self-restraint and abide by law.

He also urged the KRG authorities to speed up efforts for solving the problem of workers’ pay arrears and respond to “the legitimate demands of protesters.” Meanwhile, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said it is deeply concerned about the violence and the reported casualties during demonstrations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) in the last two days. “The people have the right to partake in peaceful demonstrations, and the authorities in KRI have the responsibility of protecting their citizens, including peaceful protestors,” according to a press release by the Baghdad-based Mission. “The KRI security forces also are urged to exercise maximum restraint in dealing with the demonstrators.

“UNAMI also calls on the demonstrators to avoid any act of violence, including the destruction of public and private properties.

“UNAMI calls upon the authorities to respect and protect the media, after one outlet, NRT TV, was ordered to suspend its broadcasts because of the content of its reporting on the demonstrations,” the statement stressed. It added that the Mission urges the media to abide by the law, while emphasising the critical role of free and impartial media in any democratic society.

Source: Kuwait News Agency